Today was rather interesting. I learned more of the fine-tuned workings of an institution of higher education. This time, the lesson seems to be that momentum is one tough cookie to break … particularly when the economy is not “on your side” as it currently is not.
I keep hearing people lamenting the slow down in the building industry and citing numerous institutions that have always been at the fore of innovative building development and big projects … and saying these institutions are essentially frozen in terms of building anything new at the moment. Access to funds just doesn’t seem to be what it once was.
The biggest questions raised …
- Why would anyone want to support your project?
- What exactly is so good about anything green and innovative?
Well, do you know how to answer that question? I sat in a room beside two people, one a professional, one the head of an organization committed to innovation and eco-design. Neither of them could deliver a convincing answer on the spot. I’ll admit, I was dissapointed. Perhaps I just dive into the topic more … but I thought it was a rather simple question to answer.
Think of it, what would a corporation like Lowes or Home Depot gain from partially or entirely funding a project focused on holistic design that rabidly pursues sustainability through innovation? What would a corporation like Exelon gain?
A quick answer, and perhaps a rather shallow answer would be one that referenced the copiuos good PR. Sadly, PR does not always benefit the bottom line in a measurable way. Who is to say how much new business comes to these large corporations as a reuslt of the PR generated by their support of such prototypes? It is a difficult item to quantify.
Now, if you can demonstrate to these large corporations that their support will help bulster their bottom line in a new and innovative manner … might that grab their attention? I would wholeheartedly answer “Yes!” so how to do it?